Thursday, December 6, 2007

Universal / NBC Lost Its “Cool”

Universal has lost its “cool.” They have lost sight of the core of their business, the fans. This isn’t breaking news, but it is disturbing to me and the way that I consult my musician clients.

The facts:

Universal now enforces that everyone on their music roster, limit streaming songs to 90 seconds. These include Myspace pages.

Universal has pulled all of its content from iTunes including hit NBC TV shows and all artists.

Universal/NBC has removed all content from YouTube and replaced it with behind the time

The real facts.

The next generation of music fans get their music online. Whether this be finding new bands on Myspace, Purevolume, or whatever. They also buy music digitally so they can play them with the white ear buds on an iPod. They buy their music with iTunes, like it or not.

YouTube plays and streams more videos per day than you could even imagine in your wet dreams. They find out about movies, tv shows, bands and celebs through this little time waster. Like it or not, this is the future of video.

Much like the tv, kids like to have 1 box give them loads of choices. That is why iTunes, Myspace and YouTube are the major players in the entertainment market. I can log into Myspace and get hit from every direction by any band that I want, all without leaving the site. With iTunes, a customer can browse through an infinite number of artists, tv shows and movies and put them all into 1 shopping cart and pay with 1 pre-established account. With YouTube, they can watch whatever they damn well please and be redirected to other clips from the same genre. This generates their interest to go see a movie, DVR a tv show or check out a band live.

What they did and how they could have avoided the screw-up:

All of their music is available at other online sites, most noticeably Amazon Music. So are their hit TV shows. The problem is that no one knows this outside of tech circles and bloggers. and NBC Direct have been ripped apart by bloggers and media industry since its launch and the fact remains that everyone on YouTube, stayed in YouTube. They are now just watching other networks shows and then turning on the tube to their advertisers on prime time.

The Myspace thing is just ridiculous. It took Colbie Caillat apologizing to her fans via a Myspace blog to discover this bizarre finding. What now? Fans will listen to someone else on Myspace and buy their songs via iTunes. How ironic.


Universal, you had the fans in the palms of your hands. You were greedy and looked for more money. Who is going to pay close to $10 for one episode of Heroes when I can get the whole season on DVD for $25 in a few weeks. Oh and I have DVR too, so I can watch it whenever I want on my big screen.

Sorry Universal, you are not going to survive this new media age with actions like this. Call me I got some solutions.

Speak out and let Universal know how they snubbed the most important people in their organization, their fans and customers.



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